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Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

Local neighborhood banshee Shirley Wallace, and long-time critic/detractor of CAMP, has finally found her way into a Riverfront Times column for her antics.
Click on image for a larger version

It seems that Wallace's latest stunt of ripping down paintings (done largely by neighborhood kids) that were hanging on private property struck many Cherokee([search]) Streeters as behavior unbecoming the vice president of the Cherokee Station Business Association.

Favorite quotes:

  • "Her comment was that she was doing us a favor by not destroying the pieces. By putting them in trash bags, she was saving it for us."
  • "…the controversy is being fueled by 'a group of people who like to stir up trouble. I'm not interested in participating in it.'"
  • "Fort Gondo owner Galen Gondolfi([search]), meanwhile, says Wallace accused him of selling drug-laced gumballs. He countered that he had purchased the candy at nearby Globe Drugs."
What a riot. Let them rotten veggies fly…


Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

It's not too late to send a letter to the RFT with your stories of harassment by Shirley Wallace. Here is what I sent:


Your piece on Shirley Wallace's antics on Cherokee([search]) Street ("Ruckus on Cherokee" in the June 15 RFT) was an honest look at the south city neighborhood's biggest troublemaker.
I know about Wallace from my own experiences in dealing with her. I am a volunteer at and supporter of CAMP([search]), the Cherokee St. based community center that houses SWEAT (a free bicycle workshop). alternative media such as Confluence([search]) and the St. Louis Independent Media Center, and the Gateway Green Alliance. After we open, CAMP will offer a computer center, the area's most extensive 'zine library, various workshops and classes taught by people in the community, a homework club and other free services.
Wallace made it her job to throw every bureaucratic obstacle in the way to prevent our opening and operating effectively. During mediation sessions designed to work out problems with getting CAMP's occupancy permit, Wallace worked with Alderman([search]) Craig Schmid to sabotage our project. She told us she wanted a maximum occupancy of 30 people for our 2000 square foot + community space, no use of our backyard after 6:00 PM (including a prohibition against our popular outdoor movie nights), and wanted to limit the hours we operate--despite the fact that we are a non-commercial, volunteer driven center that pledges to be drug and alcohol free. She even accused members of CAMP of committing petty acts of vandalism in the neighborhood, offering no evidence.
Apparently, Wallace has take it upon herself to block any enterprise or activity that does not fit in with her own narrow-minded vision for the district. Cherokee street is home to a diversity of cultures, people, artists and visions for what the community is and should be. Shirley Wallace is a troublemaker, an obfuscator and clearly out of place in this community.

Daniel Romano
St. Louis, MO
phone: 314.771.8576

Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

I am in awe of the coverage. That sack of shit West-County-frat-boy paper RFT has actually done something useful!

Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

Letter to editor at RFT
June 18, 2006

Dear editor: While we are excited to be opening the doors of our new bakery on Cherokee([search]) this July 6th, Shirley Wallace has not welcomed us warmly. During our occupancy permit process, she threatened to disallow us from baking for our farmer’s markets, restaurants and other wholesale
clients when we moved our bakery to Cherokee unless we dropped the "education use" from our application. These clients represented the
majority of our business--until our 50-seat cafe opens later this summer. We wanted the "education use" in order to have baking and educational
classes in the cafe. We dropped it so that our business would not be cut off at its knees. She has a history of "stirring up trouble" as evidenced by her opposition to the Latino tour busses last year (see RFT "Not on Our
Street" 6/8/2005). She revealed her true colors in that RFT article, when she made the ignorant comment aimed toward Latino tour bus operators: "Why wouldn't you try it our way?" Soon-to-be-irrelevant Wallace is digging her
own grave. It seems to me that Wallace is paving the way for the gentrification([search]) of the neighborhood spearheaded by speculators, property
flippers and condo developers. These voracious developers want property values and rents to skyrocket to rid Cherokee of its "indigenous" diverse populations. We know what has happened for over 500 years to the namesake of the street; this racist process of removal continues with the current initiators of displacement targeting the vibrant diverse fabric of Cherokee.

Black Bear Bakery
2639 Cherokee

last time i checked . . .

isn't black bear bakery participating in the gentrification([search]) just as much as other new buisnesses along cherokee([search])?

Re: last time i checked . . .

the bakery is moving into a storefront that used to house a subway sandwich shop, which had closed. likewise, the randall building housing CAMP([search]), radio cherokee([search]), fort gondo, etc. etc. were delapidated and half-abandoned before they were rehabbed. none of these are displacing anything.

it is naive and also a bit counter-productive to assume that ANY new business moving into an under-resourced and blighted neighborhood constitutes gentrification([search]). blocks upon blocks of antique shops that don't cater to the surrounding neighborhood is certainly one example of gentrification, which many folks would hate to see perpetuate itself on cherokee steet.

however, the basic problem is that are not enough businesses on cherokee st. right now, so some new ones need to move in. the key question is whether these new businesses would best serve the existing neighborhood (the bakery sells cheap artisan bread), or whether they would cater exclusively to yuppies looking to go on urban safari.

Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

Shirley Wallace is a member and on the board of Sustainable Neighborhoods and she is causing as much trouble for that organization as she has decsribed above. She is a bully and divider. She doesnt even live in the city or own a business in the city. Some people need to go to Sustainable and let the other board members know about her. I dont think they know. Its time to spread the word on Shirley. All residents are welcome to come to the meetings and be heards. They meet at St Matthews Church (potomac and jefferson) 6pm on July 18th.

Re: Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

What happen at the meeting last regarding this?
Can you tell us more about The Sustainable Neighborhoods groups, is there a web-site, a yahoo group, etc.

Re: Re: Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

the last meeting went well with the new president holding the line on Shirleys tactics. We need an outsider to come in and shed some light on her antics in the rest of the neighborhoods

Re: Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

I would like to know about Sustainable Neighborhoods group.
Marine Villa

Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

Roughly a decade ago, I used to work for Haffner's other property, Record Exchange on Hampton, and if I recall correctly, Shirley is the owner's sister-in-law. Since most antique shops are closed on Mondays, she would come in to work the store and would drive the employees absolutely insane. She seemed to delight in making us miserable. I also worked in the antique business, and there have been plenty of complaints circulating about her. She really thinks she is the queen of her community.
I wonder if she has any friends?

It's interesting to note that the Record Exchange store on Cherokee([search]) is closed, and that she was dealing a fit to Tension Head, a new cd shop. Jealousy, perhaps?

Re: Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

she has some serious problems, hope she goes down in flames.

Re: Re: Re: Cherokee St. Obstruction Shirley Wallace Pilloried by RFT

When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to "hope" at all. We simply do the work.

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Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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